NASA full form
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA full form is National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been established in the year 1958. NASA is the government agency that provides leadership for the country in space exploration. The current director of NASA is Charles Bolden who was appointed in 2009.
James E. Webb is the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968 who was responsible for starting many important programs of Space exploration in the U.S.
It was during this time that the Apollo Program took place from 1961 to 1972 and a total of 12 astronauts went on the moon’s surface with a total of 11 landings including 6 landings by Apollo 11.
Many other projects were also designed during the same period. A new space shuttle was introduced in 1981 which helped to launch a large payload into orbit and also kindle interest in a whole new generation of engineers and scientists. It is called the Space Shuttle program.
NASA’s budget has been huge since its inception and it pays for many other programs too such as space exploration and also aeronautics research. NASA’s budget for the fiscal year 2011 has been $18,000 million.
NASA Headquarters is in Washington D.C. and it has 10 field centers throughout the U.S. along with various installations and also laboratories in other states and countries too such as Canada, Chile, and France.
NASA is the world’s leading space agency and its budget has been ever-increasing ever since it started way back in 1958. It works on a number of major projects at any given time. Some of them are:
1) Constellation Program – This program is to establish a capability for taking humans beyond low earth orbit for exploration, to Mars and the moon.
2) Commercial Space Transportation – This is to foster commercial space transportation along with research and development for safer, less expensive vehicles that will serve the needs of the U.S. Government as well as general commercial users.
3) Mars Exploration Program – Mars exploration program studies Mars and also plans future explorations thereon by robots.
4) Advanced Exploration Systems – The advanced exploration systems are to develop technologies that enable missions beyond low earth orbit.
5) Moon-Mars Initiative – This is also known as the moon/Mars initiative and will help in exploring the potential of utilizing local resources in both places to support future missions.
6) Earth Science Program – This involves understanding the climate, land surface, and water cycle of the Earth in order to increase knowledge about our planet.
7) National Space Policy – This is a policy created by NASA which sets forth its mission, strategies, and also approaches for achieving success in its goals. It is a document approved by NASA’s Administrator Charles Bolden on June 28, 2010.
8) Exploration Systems Mission Directorate – This is to develop technologies that are pivotal for ensuring the safety of human spaceflight, increasing performance, and also reducing cost.
9) Space Communications and Navigation Program – Its goal is to provide the ability to use radio frequency transmissions for spacecraft tracking, data return including location signals which can be used by astronauts during exploration missions.
10) Safety, Security, And Mission Services – This provides necessary services to the NASA employees, the users of NASA’s programs and also ensures the security of assets. It keeps national security interests in mind while providing these services.
11) Space Flight Operations Facility (SFOF), Wallops Island Facility (WFF), and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) – SFOF is in charge of all flight control instrumentation and leads the team that operates the center’s worldwide network of tracking stations. WFF provides rocket launch complex services to NASA and other government agencies for sounding rockets, scientific balloons, small expendable rockets, and orbital missions. Lastly, Goddard Space Flight Center coordinates research projects and also spacecraft development.
12) Stennis Space Center (SSC) – It is located in Hancock County, Mississippi and it is used for rocket propulsion testing for all of the agency’s space projects.
13) Ames Research Center (ARC) – The center supports work that looks into several areas including aeronautics, life sciences, human factors, information technology, astronomy, and also space exploration.
14) Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) – The center at Edwards AFB is where almost all of the agency’s high-speed research aircraft are flown.
15) Johnson Space Center (JSC) – It is located in Houston, Texas and it looks after human spaceflight training, astronaut crew activities, and also it has mission planning and real-time control of flights for NASA’s fleet of research aircraft. It is the agency’s lead center in human spaceflight and one that looks after all earth-orbiting missions.
16) John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) – SSRC conducts NASA testing across a number of different projects and also supports some of NASA’s interagency initiatives.
17) John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) – It is located in Cape Canaveral, Florida and it manages all the agency’s launch vehicles as well as many of its launch support facilities.
18) Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) – JSC is in Houston, Texas and it manages mission operations for the International Space Station which is a NASA project that involves 16 countries.
19) Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) – The facility is in New Orleans, Louisiana and it has been used for building space systems for over 40 years. It was used to produce the first stages of the Saturn rockets for NASA and to help in building the Space Shuttle External Tanks.
20) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) – GSFC is located in Greenbelt, Maryland and it studies data from earth-observing missions.
How does NASA work
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, more commonly known as NASA, is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
NASA was founded on July 29, 1958, as a response to the Cold War-era space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The agency operates under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Commerce.
NASA’s mission statement is “To pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research.” The agency has many notable achievements to its name, including the development of human spaceflight, the launch of the first manned spacecraft (Friendship 7), the first lunar landing (Apollo 11), the launch of the first reusable spacecraft (Columbia), and the development of the Hubble Telescope.
In 2010, NASA announced a new manned spaceflight program named Orion which would be designed to replace the aging Space Shuttle fleet. The new plan calls for a total replacement of both shuttles with a two-stage shuttle system that will return to launching from Kennedy Space Center’s famed Launch Pad 39A by 2014. By 2020, this new system will enable NASA to send humans further into space than ever before in history.
Future plans for NASA
NASA’s future plans include sending astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars by 2030. They also want to be able to send astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit by 2018.
They have been working on a new manned spacecraft since 2004 and in 2006, they announced that the Orion spacecraft would be basically a larger version of the Apollo command module with a different style heat shield.
Fun facts about NASA
· The agency is responsible for many technologies which we use today such as cordless drills, smoke detectors, firefighting equipment, ear thermometers, insulin pumps, and pacemakers among others.
· In 1973, NASA astronauts set up a solar observatory outside of their Lunar Module to recharge rechargeable batteries they were using.
This observatory was used to study how much energy from Sun’s rays can go through Earth’s atmosphere at various locations around the world and it led to information on more efficient lighting.
· The Fax machine was invented by the company Litton Industries to work in space. The idea came about after one of the Apollo 15 crew members asked his sons if they could see him on TV and unfortunately, they couldn’t because it requires a phone line which is not available for astronauts.
· An automatic voting machine was developed by NASA to help polling places communicate results back to base so that officials can issue correct election certificates. They also created an emergency breathing system for firefighters among many other things.